Merlino Center: A New Building That Will Transform Student Life

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Future Merlino Center plan

Delphine Mock, Staff Writer

Seattle Prep is a school built on many things and one of those is a passion for athletics. Prep is home to 44 teams. Annually, about 75% of our student body participate in at least one sport.  Just this fall, there are 487 Panthers in a fall sport. The recent updates to the weight rooms and locker rooms have made Prep an even better environment for a student athlete. This school year, Prep is tackling the project of a new building called the Merlino Center. Some students and faculty were sad when hearing that the relatively new Rudolf Field was being replaced, the people working on this project (who is it) have shared that a new field will be relocated with even more space. Rudolf Field will be moved to one of Prep’s undeveloped properties on the north side of Delmar Drive.

Here’s what athletic trainer Mr. Reed has to say about his look to the future with this new facility and field “It will give us space first and foremost, something that we haven’t had as much of.  Being able to offer more space for basketball and volleyball is obvious, but we’ll be able to offer training space for baseball, softball, tennis, golf and more.  We’ll then be able to expand our strength and conditioning offerings to include more speed and agility work in the turfed upper level.”

The new Merlino Center will be around 5,000 square feet and will provide new athletic training space, for basketball, volleyball, tennis, track, and batting cages for baseball/softball. There will also be multipurpose spaces for PULSE dance, robotics, grade meetings, social events, additional HEX rooms, and lunch overflow.

The construction of the facility is the second part of a two-part plan, with the first part being the redoing of the locker rooms, renovation of the lobby, and weight room. This plan is called the level the Level the Field, Raise the Bar with this new construction being the ‘raise the bar’ portion. President Kent Hickey is heading up the campaign team.

Mr. Hickey explains that the new building, “will benefit many students: HEX classes, pulse, class meetings, robotics tournaments, and athletics. It will include strength and dynamic training spaces. The court will be used for volleyball, basketball, soccer, baseball, softball.”

Students may be wondering, “Will this even be there while I’m at Prep?” For seniors, sadly it won’t be completed, but for the 9th, 10th, and 11th graders they can expect to see this amazing new facility. The current plan is to start construction in mid-October and end in early September, 2022. So, it should be done at around the beginning of the next school year.

While change is sometimes hard to get used to, this new facility will remarkably change Prep’s academic, club, and athletic life.

Future Merlino Center plan
Plan for the inside of the Merlino Center